BST letter to Oyston: We need to put the record straight

Blackpool owner Owen Oyston at Bury last weekend

Blackpool owner Owen Oyston at Bury last weekend

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Last week Blackpool Football Club published a letter from owner Owen Oyston rejecting an offer to buy the club from Blackpool Supporters Trust.

Here the supporters group responds:

Dear Owen,

We are very disappointed that you chose to close the door on the BST bid by posting a public rebuttal on the Blackpool FC website last week, rather than having the common courtesy to reply to us directly by letter, per our communications to you (which would have been the polite and professional thing to do).

We are further disappointed that, despite a few kind words, you clearly don’t take the views and aspirations of the largest supporters’ organisation at the club seriously.

You have refused to meet with us and have attempted to dismiss our constructive solution to the problems at Bloomfield Road in rather condescending fashion.

We are even more disappointed to note that your statement was a serious misrepresentation of what constituted the BST bid.

We want to set the record straight!

On the claim that we ‘have failed to respond to the questions’ – this is completely untrue.

We provided comprehensive answers by hard-copy letter, hand-delivered to you and by email, before the extended deadline expired at end of September.

The information ran to several pages.

Since then we have posted those comprehensive replies on our website and facebook page for the general public to make its own assessment. (If anyone wants the details, read the article “Owen Oyston Rejects BST Bid” at www.blackpoolsupporterstrust.org)

To the claim that this was ‘no bid at all but an invitation for me to give you all the assets and cash without you producing one penny of new money’ – again, not true.

We never asked for all the assets and cash.

We requested only that you give BST (on behalf of the supporters) the football stadium and the training ground plus a small percentage of the cash at bank, enough to run the team for two years.

You and your family would then walk away with the balance of assets (Travelodge, Quernmore Hall and multi-millions of pounds of cash).

Once we had ownership of the club, then we would invest new money and seek additional investment partners.

To answer the he claim that ‘if we were left to run the club it would go to the wall because we do not have any money or the experience necessary’, the money would come, in the short term, from the cash at bank sum we have calculated as necessary to sustain the club for two seasons, from the thousands of loyal fans who would return to the club on match days and then from additional investment brought on stream before the end of the second season.

The expertise would come from the professionals we would hire to manage the enterprise properly.

It is not rocket science. We are astute, professional people ourselves. We have taken good advice from other football clubs and respected industry experts and we have explained our plans in some detail.

As to the ‘many discussions (you) have had with a large number of fans’ clearly that wouldn’t have included any of the 1,800 BST members and loyal Blackpool fans who are adamant that your support for the club is simply and demonstrably inadequate;, nor presumably the 10,000 fans and ex-season ticket holders who flocked to games in 2010/11 but have since voted with their feet.

There are thousands of loyal Blackpool supporters who will not step inside Bloomfield Road again while the Oyston family continue treat our football club solely as a business bent on maximizing profit from minimal investment.

Which brings us to your request to ‘the members of BST to get behind the club, the manager and team and support them’.

Believe us when we say that in our hearts we do support our club, our team.

However, our contention and our grievance is that it is you and your son who have not got behind the club, the manager and the team sufficiently. Let us not forget that in the 27 years since you took ownership of the club, it has been in the bottom two divisions for 20 of those years.

Our outstanding success in the other 7 was largely on the back of Valeri Belokon’s investment.

In our eyes, you have failed to put football first.

You have failed to honour our hopes and dreams as fans when you had every means to do so on the back of promotion to the Premier League.

You have squandered that rich legacy built on the field of play and you have reduced Blackpool FC to a shadow of what it was even four years ago.

You call into question our finances and experience?

Let us finish for now by asking this – Where, in recent seasons, was your money and experience when it was required to support the club in its moment of need, as we slid from Premier League to the bottom of the third tier?

- Read more of the BST response next week